EFL / FA CUP TIPS: With no EFL action this week, our attention turns to the second round of the FA Cup. We preview three of the weekend’s fixtures below, alongside some of our fancied BETDAQ bets.
King’s Lynn Town v Stevenage Town – Saturday (12:45)
The lunchtime kick-off on Saturday sees League Two promotion-hopefuls Stevenage travel to King’s Lynn Town of the National League North in the first ever meeting between the two clubs. Both sides find themselves second in their retrospective divisions, though King’s Lynn have two games in hand on the current table-toppers Brackley Town.
The Linnets find themselves in good form having won seven out of their last 11 games in all competitions, including dumping out Doncaster Rovers in the previous round. They are undefeated at home in the league this season and will certainly provide a stern test to their visitors on Saturday, regardless of the disparity in divisions.
Stevenage dropped further behind in the race for the League Two title when Grimsby Town managed to find a 91st minute equaliser last weekend, making it a five-point gap between them and league leaders Leyton Orient. They nevertheless remain a well-drilled and motivated side, losing just once in their last ten games, and look good value for their first League One appearance since the 2013/14 season.
Steve Evans’ side look to offer a bit of value for victory here. King’s Lynn will make it difficult for them, but the difference in quality should be too much for the hosts. Backing Stevenage at 2.05 is the pick for this one.
AFC Wimbledon v Chesterfield Town – Saturday 15:00
Last weekend’s 2-0 victory at Tranmere made it six games unbeaten for AFC Wimbledon in League Two. The Dons have seemingly put their dire start to the season behind them and find themselves 13th in the division, just five points adrift of the playoff places.
Scoring first has been key to Wimbledon’s upturn in form – they’ve netted the opener in five of those six undefeated games – which was likewise foundational to their two-legged victory over Weymouth in the previous round.
Chesterfield are high-flying in the National League after winning their last four on the bounce, putting themselves firmly in the question for promotion to League Two. Paul Cook’s men pulled off an upset by beating Northampton Town in Round One, and will have their sights set on knocking out successive League Two oppositions when they visit Plough Lane on Saturday.
Despite Chesterfield’s good form, Wimbledon are a cut above and have likewise hit good form as we approach the Christmas period. Backing the home side to win at 2.45 seems very good value for this fixture.
Dagenham and Redbridge v Gillingham – Saturday 17:00
Dagenham and Redbridge find themselves in a good vein of form after three successive league victories in the National League, propelling the east Londoners to nineth in the table. The Daggers were also victorious in their previous FA Cup fixture against division rivals Maidenhead United earlier this month, meaning Daryl McMahon’s side are gaining momentum across both domestic competitions.
On Saturday evening they welcome a drastically out-of-form Gillingham, who they’ve won three of their last six meetings against. The Gills find themselves in 23rd place in League Two and are winless in nine league fixtures after drawing with fellow struggles Crawley Town last weekend. Scoring goals seems to be a persistent issue for Neil Harris’ side – they’ve failed to find the net in their last five league games and have incredibly only netted six times across their 19 league games so far.
There is obviously a divisional difference between these two, but given the disparity in form amongst the two sides, we’re backing the home side at 2.52 to pull off an upset and reach the third round.